Son of legendary Edinburgh fundraiser Tom Gilzean launches crowdfunding campaign to buy Oor Wullie sculpture
The son of legendary charity collector Tom Gilzean has launched a crowdfunding campaign to save the Oor Wullie sculpture designed in his father's honour.
The statue is currently displayed at the fundraiser's favourite collecting spot outside Marks and Spencer's on Princes Street but will be sold at auction to the highest bidder on Thursday.
The 99-year-old has been unable to fundraise over the last month as he is still recovering from a nasty fall at a tram stop where he fractured both wrists and suffered a serious blow to the head.
Son Douglas Gilzean, 68, who lives in Livingston says that he started the crowdfunding page because he wants to keep the statue on the streets of Edinburgh for his dad to see when he 'finally gets back collecting again.'
He said: “It would be really nice to see his statue stay in Edinburgh, my Dad really wants to get back fundraising as soon as he can and if his Oor Wullie stayed on Princes Street he could sit beside it every day and that would mean everything to him.”
The family will have to raise £10,000 to keep the sculpture in Edinburgh and are asking all of Mr Gilzean's fans to come together to achieve this.
The famous fundraiser, who is from Fountainbridge, has collected over one million pounds since he started rattling his collecting tin on Princes Street in 2000 after the death of his late wife Anne Gilzean.
The majority of his hard-earned cash goes to Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity, which supports Edinburgh’s Sick Children’s Hospital, and his son said it was ‘his life's passion to fundraise for.'
He said: “We hope that the statue might end up in Sick Kids, it would be a lovely legacy for him and he has worked so hard over the years for the charity.
“He was over the moon when he first heard he’d get his own sculpture and it really would be fantastic if we could keep it as a tribute to him.”
Rachel Baxter, Director of Fundraising at ECHC, said: “This is a wonderful idea by Tom’s family. He is an incredible man and is such a fantastic supporter of our charity.
“We hope the people of Edinburgh and beyond will come together and raise as much as possible to support their fundraising drive to keep Tom’s Oor Wullie sculpture in the city. We know it will be loved here for many, many years to come.”